League of Legends: OPL split 1

After a one-week break, the Oceanic Pro League swung back into full action for its sixth week of competition. If you’re still with us after participating in the Chiefs vs Legacy drinking game, well done. But don’t rest just yet, we’ve only reached the halfway point of the season. That means six more weeks of upsets, big plays and Exile 5 YouTube videos.

Play of the Week

As a kid growing up on 90s anime dubs, Voltron was always one of my favourite shows. Sure, every kid loves giant robots, but Voltron was special. When all fifteen members of the Voltron Force combined their machines to produce the eponymous mecha’s full form, you knew something big was going down.

There were only four Dire Wolves involved in this play, but this is as close to Voltron as we’ll see in the OPL. The first thing that stands out is the excellent juggling of turret aggro, but there are a few beautiful moments of synergy in there as well.

I recommend following a different champion on each watch and keeping an eye out for the little things they do to make the dive happen. Mitchell “Destiny” Shaw squeezes every single drop of efficiency out of his Ebb and Flows, while Ryan “Chippys” Short comes back in to soak a bit more damage knowing that Titan’s Wrath will absorb just enough for him to survive. It’s a beautiful moment of teamwork that shows what the OPL looks like at its best.

LG Dire Wolves v Abyss Esports

Result: 2-0 LG Dire Wolves

During the break, Dire Wolves announced the departure of Lachlan “Sybol” Civil from the roster, a sad piece of news considering how important he’s been to the team over the last two years. But as the Wolves march into the Shernfire era, they have much to be excited about.

Game 1 was a strange affair as they were able to nab the devastating (albeit recently nerfed) trio of Camille, Rengar and LeBlanc. Abyss’ intelligent draft gave them some trouble early on, but eventually the simple ferocity of the triple dive comp paid off for the Wolves once they found their fights.

Abyss couldn’t quite get it together in Game 2 as the Wolves earned a much more dominant win off the back of Shern “Shernfire” Tai’s perfect 3/0/16 Ivern performance. Calvin “k1ng” Truong reminded us of an old North American adage: when it comes to Sivir comps, you just press R and win.

Exile 5 v Sin Gaming

Result: 2-0 Sin Gaming

Two new mid laners faced off as Tommy “ry0ma” Le took on Drew “Midbeast” Timbs in his OPL debut. Midbeast had the edge in Game 1, getting off to a 3/0 start in an unfavourable lane, but despite some stellar fighting from x5, Sin took Game 1 off a relentless split push from Cuong “Flaresz” Ta’s Renekton.

William “Crayzee” Dobie stepped up for x5 in Game 2 after struggling through much of the season, but Sin were a better unit all around as Flaresz continued to run a train through the top lane on Renekton. Ry0ma’s 6/3/13 Orianna held it down for Sin as they pulled off a successful 1-4 split push game.

Tainted Minds v Avant Garde

Result: 2-1 Avant Garde

A back-and-forth early game saw the gold lead hover around zero for the first 22 minutes of Game 1, but Avant finally broke the stalemate, catching out Alex “Squidgy” Trott and Robbie “Broler” Harrison in mid lane to take an inhibitor and snowball the rest of the game. Jayke “Jayke” Paulsen finished with 94% kill contribution.

Tainted Minds struck back in Game 2 as Jordan “Only” Middleton had a berserk performance on Lee Sin, nabbing kill after kill in the early game to propel TM into the driver’s seat. Avant’s wave clear was able to keep TM at bay, but an ace at Baron 30 minutes in gave the rookies the game.

Avant showed their veteran experience in Game 3, bouncing back from defeat to keep Only’s Rengar at bay while they worked the map. Stephen “Triple” Li carried the day with his Jayce, giving up zero kills while outputting 19.5k damage in 31 minutes.

Legacy Esports v Chiefs Esports Club

Result: 2-0 Legacy Esports

The aptly named El ClasicOPL lived up to expectation as Game 1 brought us a 47-minute trip to the grindhouse. Chiefs were their usual selves, dominating the objective scoreboard through the midgame, but James “Tally” Shute was relentless in his Camille split push. Chiefs were unable to find a solution, and while a late four-for-four fight gave them an inhibitor, Legacy were able to march into their base and end the game.

In an unexpected turn of events, Legacy ran a clinic on Chiefs in Game 2, winning fights and taking objectives after a tense, bloodless start to the game. Tim “Carbon” Wendel was everywhere, contributing to all sixteen of his team’s kills. The game came to a climax as Legacy aced Chiefs 26 minutes in to seal the match in and notch a well-deserved win over their rivals.

The Oceanic Pro League continues this Saturday from 3 PM AEST as Sin Gaming take on Chiefs Esports Club.

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